Despite Jacob Trouba’s recently publicized trade request, the Jets should only move him if it’s on their terms because of the bad precedent it would set for future RFAs, opines Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun. As Wyman notes, the Jets are a draft-and-develop organization given their status as a small market team and the difficulties they face in competing for marketable free agents. Acquiescing to Trouba’s request would harm the club’s leverage when it comes to future negotiations with players like Nikolaj Ehlers, Kyle Connor and Patrick Laine when they reach restricted free agency. A small market club needs to be able to retain as much of their best young talent as possible and the Jets must be able to keep the salaries of their RFAs in line while those players are still under team control.
Wyman also believes that since Trouba has yet to live up to his full potential in his first three seasons on the league, he should be willing to accept a fair market contract and to play wherever his coach wants him to play. If he wants to move over to the right side, as he has indicated, he needs to beat out one of the incumbents – Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers.
As Wyman writes further, it’s likely Trouba’s insistence on playing on the right side is in fact a smoke screen and the reality is the young defenseman simply wants out of Winnipeg. Of course Trouba and his agent, Kurt Overhardt, have both insisted his request is based solely on his desire to be a right-side defenseman and has nothing to do with the city or the organization.
More from the NHL’s Central Division:
- Four seasons ago, Matt Carle’s stock was such that the 27-year-old defender received the second-largest contract inked by any player during the summer of 2011. Last season, he fell out of favor in Tampa Bay and despite the Lightning often suiting up seven blue liners, Carle still couldn’t crack the lineup. It was no surprise, then, that the Lightning opted to buy out the remaining two years of his deal as the team looked to save as much money as possible in order to re-sign several important free agents. Carle would end up signing a one-year deal with Nashville worth just $700K, where the 11-year veteran will be reunited with head coach Peter Laviolette. Under Laviolette, Carle had some of his best yearss, statistically, while a member of the Flyers, tallying at least 35 points in each of his final three seasons with the team. Carle hopes that at age-32 and playing for a coach with whom he is both comfortable and familiar, that he can once again be an important player for a contending team. The Predators do boast one of the league’s most talented blue lines but there is room for a veteran to stabilize the unit, particularly after dealing away team captain Shea Weber this summer.
- Veteran defenseman Michal Rozsival has carved out a solid 15-year NHL career and realizes his days in the league are numbered. Rozsival has spent the past four seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and was brought back by the club for what the 38-year-old defender hopes will be his fifth campaign in the windy city. But after the 2015-16 season, Rozsival wasn’t sure he would be back in Chicago and despite signing a one-year, $600K deal, he isn’t even sure what his role with the Hawks will be, as Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune writes. “Right now, I still don’t know what my role is. It might be determined by the way I play. The last four years I’ve played 20 games, I’ve played 30 games and I’ve played 50 games. I’m ready for anything and for any kind of role. Obviously, I would love to be playing. I’m always trying to fight for my ice time.” It’s likely the Blackhawks value his experience and will find a spot for him on the roster, even if it is as the seventh or eighth defenseman.
- Minnesota entered training camp with a few openings at forward and plenty of candidates to earn those jobs. Unfortunately for the Wild, none of those candidates have impressed head coach Bruce Boudreau to this point in the preseason, according to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune. Veteran role players Zac Dalpe and Ryan Carter have failed to make a mark while youngsters Alex Tuch, Kurtis Gabriel, Joel Eriksson Ek and Tyler Graovac have yet to grab hold of a job. Whether this might prompt GM Chuck Fletcher to explore his alternatives or not is unclear but he may have to if the in-house options continue their collectively mediocre play.